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Pattaya re-opening threatened by rise in infections, slow vaccine rollout

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr/Wutthichai Charoenburi

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says the eastern tourist spot of Pattaya has a number of challenges to overcome in order to re-open to foreign tourism. Chief among them is the fact that standard operating procedures submitted to the provincial health office are still awaiting approval. Meanwhile, Covid-19 infections are rising and the vaccine rollout is sluggish.

According to a Bangkok Post report, Apichai Chatchalermkit from the TAT says Pattaya’s vaccination rate is currently nowhere near the 70% necessary for herd immunity. Only around 33% of the population is currently vaccinated.

“Pattaya’s re-opening plan cannot start without those conditions.”

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Pattaya was the third most popular holiday spot in the country, welcoming 9.4 million foreign visitors. Of those, 2.72 million arrived from China, with 1.14 million coming from Russia. As with tourism operators in Phuket, Apichai is optimistic that the approval of the Sputnik V vaccine will lead to an increase in Russian tourists, now even more important given that overseas travel is currently banned in China. He says that other potential markets include India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Germany.

The Bangkok Post reports that foreign tourists arriving as part of the Pattaya Move On re-opening scheme, will be required to spend their first 6 days in alternative local quarantine. There are 19 such facilities, across 2 districts. From day 7, tourists will be permitted to travel on a sealed route and can only use operators who have been given Safety and Health Administration Plus accreditation. It’s understood at least 10 operators are waiting for their approval certificates.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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